Elephant herd goes amok in Baripada

Baripada: A herd of elephants wreaked havoc in Karanjia village here after it went on a rampage at the Biswa Bandhu residential school late on Monday night, destroying property and food items kept for school meals.

Though no student has been injured in the incident, the walls and gates of the school have completely been destroyed by the pachyderms. This apart, rice, vegetables and other beverages kept in the kitchen inside the school premises were also crushed by the jumbos, informed sources.

Meanwhile, the locals are in a state of panic and are demanding urgent steps by forest department to drive back the elephant herd.

Locals informed that the incident occurred at around 10 PM yesterday. “All of a sudden, a herd of elephants entered the school premises and started damaging the school property,” alleged a local.

The locals have further demanded steps by forest department to drive the elephants back into the wild.

After getting information about the incident, officials of the district administration including a team of forest personnel reached the spot to take stock of the situation.

“We have assessed the damage and will take immediate steps to provide compensation.  We will ensure that there should not be problem in providing meal to the students. Immediate action will be taken to reconstruct the walls,” said Karanjia BDO (Block Development Officer), Subhasis Boral.

Assistant Conservator of Forests, Batakrushna Padhi stated, “We were constantly monitoring the movement of the jumbos since last seven days. However, the herd strayed into the Karanjia range and entered the school premises late last night. We will take immediate steps to address the issue at the earliest.”